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Westmont Hilltop Threats Update

Westmont Hilltop School District was the target of a yet more threats, 2 happening in the same day on Wednesday, resulting in School closures. The first threat was specific to an adult at the Secondary School, the second coming later in the day. This latest incident causing Thursday to be a Flexible Instruction day and Friday to have School cancelled.

We attended the District’s Safe Schools Committee meeting Thursday night, where the current status of the threat investigation was addressed. Westmont Hilltop School District along with local Police are investigating a threat that was reportedly made through one of the Student organization’s social media accounts against an adult associated with the District.

Westmont Hilltop School District has already had two major threat incidents this year. One involving a Student allegedly taping threatening notes to the school buildings, another from a state-wide swatting incident. Most recently, an online threat made on Wednesday received by a Student organization’s social media account against an adult associated with the District. This resulted in the school closing for Friday, instead having a Flexible Instructional day. The District issued a statement on Thursday morning saying quote; “Because of the potential threat to an adult associated with Westmont Hilltop School District, we are continuing to assist with the Police investigation, and rest assured it is ongoing. We are confident the Police will resolve the issue as quickly as possible. While we cannot release information that will compromise the investigation, our threat assessment process is proven and reliable.”

Later in the day, during a Safe Schools Committee Meeting, Superintendent Tom Mitchell read a statement that said quote; “In collaboration with local Law Enforcement and out of an abundance of caution, we are cancelling school on Friday, April 14, 2023. The day of school will be made up on Monday, June 5, 2023. If possible, we will maintain the original commandment date for Seniors. The cancellation provides additional time for local Law Enforcement to continue their investigation and allows School District time to arrange additional safety measures for the upcoming week. We cannot conduct a second Flexible Instructional Day because Elementary Students only had enough assignments for one day at home.”

Some parents were also at the meeting to hear about what the school is doing to handle this incident. Patrick O’Connor, a Concerned Citizen of Westmont Hilltop saying: “I’m disappointed. What it does is it creates more chaos for us and everyone in the entire community. It means all the parents have to rearrange their schedules to accommodate to what hopefully is not a serious threat.”

Westmont Hilltop School District will be closed Friday and an announcement regarding next week’s schedule will be made on Sunday. If you have any information about this incident, contact the Upper Yoder Police Department.

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